The Best Okuma Spinning Reels for 2024

Okuma is well known for affordable performance, and their spinning reels have proven themselves the world over. Recently, the company has ventured into the high-end as well, offering reels that are designed to compete with the best that Penn, Daiwa, and Shimano have to offer.

Have they succeeded? Are Okuma reels at more moderate price points a good buy?

Let’s find out!

If you’re curious about a new Okuma reel, keep reading. Below, you’ll find reviews of the best Okuma reels currently available, as well as a complete buying guide explaining why we chose the models we did.

Quick glance at the best Okuma spinning reels:

Related:

Best Okuma Spinning Reels Reviewed

Okuma Ceymar - Okuma’s Best Budget Budget Spinning Reel

FishUSA

Sizes: 10, 20, 30, 40, 55, and 65

Maximum drag: (10) 5 lbs.

(20) 6 lbs.

(30) 13 lbs.

(40) 13lbs.

(55) 18lbs.

(65) 22 lbs.

Line capacity:braid (10) 90/10, 80/15

(20) 180/10, 140/15

(30) 180/15, 155/20

(40) 215/30, 150/40

(55) 375/30, 255/50

(65) 305/50, 205/65

Bearings: 6 + 1 (10 and 20), 7 + 1

Gear ratio: (10) 5.0:1 22.6 IPT

(20) 5.0:1 24.0 IPT

(30) 5.0:1 26.6 IPT

(40) 5.0:1 30.9 IPT

(55) 4.5:1 32 IPT

(65) 4.8:1 37.6 IPT

Weight: (10) 6 oz.

(20) 6.8 oz.

(30) 8.2 oz.

(40) 10 oz.

(55) 14.2 oz.

(65) 20.7 oz.

The Okuma Ceymar is a great budget reel. Roughly half the price of a Daiwa BG or Penn Battle III, the Ceymar is nonetheless a capable fishing machine with an appropriate size for most fishing adventures.

Okuma supplies the Ceymar series with a carbon-fiber body that’s plenty rigid in the smaller sizes. From 10 to 30, I find the body plenty stiff for holding its guts in place during a fight, and I’ve simply no worries whatsoever about tying into a big (for the reel’s size) fish. Reds, big specks, monster bass - there’s just no question that the 20- and 30-size can hold their own. 

And the diminutive 10 is just perfect for panfish like bluegill and trout.

As you step up in size, however, the weaknesses of a graphite body will become apparent. And while I’m not saying that I wouldn’t fish a 40, 55, or 65, when you hook a strong fish that challenges the limits of your drag and line, that graphite body is inevitably going to flex more than a solid-metal alternative like the Daiwa or Penn.

That’s just a fact.

Okuma runs a brass pinion gear driven by an aluminum main gear. The machining on these parts is great, in my experience, and you’ll find that these reels crank and fight smoothly.

Each model comes with a size-appropriate gear ratio, and in conjunction with large spools, delivers plenty of speed. 

Are these reels fast? Not by a long shot, but they’ll get the job done in most situations.

For instance, the Ceymar C-20 picks up 24 inches per turn, a far cry from the Battle III’s 30 inches or the BG’s 29.5. 

The Ceymar utilizes an oiled-felt drag system - a nod to cost consciousness - that delivers smooth performance but isn’t nearly as durable as more advanced carbon fiber alternatives like the HT-100 and ATD. Nevertheless, performance is reliable, and I’ve never noticed any stops and starts.

In the larger sizes, you’ll definitely notice a performance gap between the Okuma Ceymar and Penn Battle III or Daiwa BG. 

Casting is clean and hassle-free with the Ceymar, and distance is excellent with appropriate line choices and lure weights.

The Ceymar sports a large, capacious spool that holds plenty of line, easily matching the impressive Penn Battle III yard for yard. You’ll have plenty of line for cutting and retying, and if you choose to use one of the larger models, you’ll enjoy enough capacity for a hard fight without worrying about getting spooled.

And in terms of weight, that carbon body just crushes all-metal bodies, delivering substantial savings. These Ceymar reels just about disappear on your rod, reducing fatigue over the course of a long day’s fishing.

Overall, the Ceymar impresses as a cost-conscious performer, delivering everything you need without any bells and whistles. For anglers on a tight budget, it’s very hard to beat.

Pros:

  • Excellent value!
    • Good carbon body for the smaller sizes
    • Good gear materials
    • Good gear ratios
    • Capacious spools
    • Good drag system
  • Extremely light!

Cons:

  • An all-metal body would be an improvement on the 40, 55, and 65
  • Drag durability and performance can’t compete with carbon-fiber disc systems
  • Slow retrieval speeds

Okuma Avenger ABF - Okuma’s Best Baitfeeding Reel

Okuma Fishing Tackle ABF55b Avenger ABF 'B' Series Baitfeeder Reels, Multicolor, One Size

Amazon 

Sizes: 500, 1000, 3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000

Maximum drag: (500) 6 lbs.

(1000) 6 lbs.

(3000) 18 lbs.

(4000) 22 lbs.

(6000) 26 lbs.

(8000) 26 lbs.

Line capacity:braid (500) 85/15, 65/20

(1000) 180/10, 140/15

(3000) 160/30, 140/40

(4000) 230/30, 190/40

(6000) 340/40, 290/50

(8000) 460/40, 390/50

Bearings: 6 + 1

Gear ratio: (500) 5.0:1 21.9 IPT

(1000) 5.0:1 24.0 IPT

(3000) 5.0:1 28.0 IPT

(4000) 5.0:1 30.9 IPT

(6000) 4.5:1 31.4 IPT

(8000) 4.5:1 34.1 IPT

Weight: (500) 6.7 oz.

(1000) 7.1 oz.

(3000) 10. 1 oz.

(4000) 11.7 oz.

(6000) 17 oz.

(8000) 17.8 oz.

Okuma’s Avenger ABF is another excellent budget reel. Equipped with a baitfeeder drag system, these are excellent live or cut bait reels, and the 3000 is an excellent all-around choice for inshore fishing for anglers who can't afford to step up to the Penn or Daiwa.

Okuma supplies the Avenger ABF with a graphite body, dramatically shedding weight and offering excellent performance in the smaller sizes. Just as with the Ceymar, an all-metal body would increase rigidity in the larger sizes, inspiring more confidence with truly big fish. 

That said, I wouldn’t be afraid to fight a striper, red, catfish, or pike on these reels, assuming I was fishing the correct size!

As with the Ceymar, expect a brass pinion gear driven by an aluminum main gear. Performance is smooth but certainly not a rival for Daiwa or Shimano.

The gear ratio and overall size of the main gear result in relatively low retrieval speeds, leaving this Okuma far behind the Penn and Daiwa. For instance, in the 3000, the Okuma swallows 28 inches of line, while the Penn Battle III eats 35 inches and the Daiwa 37.4. 

I’d skip the Avenger ABF for truly fast fish like barracuda, but it will hold its own against most species.

Where the ABF shines is the baitfeeding drag system. Actuated by a lever at the rear, the baitfeeding system lessens drag pressure substantially until that lever is flipped. That allows the fish to take live or cut bait and run, believing it has captured an easy meal. When the drag comes on, and the hook is set, that’s another matter entirely.

For species that love live and cut bait, this drag system is simply amazing, and you will catch more fish.

Okuma equips the Avenger ABF with an oil-felt drag system that delivers reliable performance. Nevertheless, it’s no real rival for the outstanding HT-100 or ATD.

Spool capacity is acceptable without setting any records, and it falls behind the BG and Battle III. Keep in mind, however, that this reel is roughly half the price of those alternatives!

That graphite body reduces weight to nearly nothing, however, and like the Ceymar, this reel almost disappears on your rod.

If you’re an angler who loves live bait, the Avenger ABF is a great budget reel that will hook more fish than more expensive - and higher-performing - reels. 

Pros:

  • Excellent value!
  • Excellent baitfeeding drag system!
  • Good carbon body for the smaller sizes
  • Good gear materials
  • Good gear ratios
  • Capacious spools
  • Good drag system
  • Extremely light!
  •  

Cons:

  • An all-metal body would be an improvement on the 40, 55, and 65
  • Drag durability and performance can’t compete with carbon-fiber disc systems
  • Slow retrieval speeds

Okuma Helios SX - Okuma’s Best Inshore Spinning Reel

Okuma Helios Lightweight Spinning Reel

Amazon 

Sizes: 20, 30, and 40

Maximum drag: (20) 6 lbs.

(30) 13 lbs.

(40) 13 lbs.

Line capacity:braid (20) 130/10, 110/15

(30) 180/15, 130/20

(40) 215/30, 150/40

Bearings: 8 + 1

Gear ratio: (20) 5.0:1 24.7 IPT

(30) 5.0:1 27.8 IPT

(40) 4.5:1 30.9 IPT

(40 S) 5.8:1 35.9 IPT

Weight: (20) 6.2 oz.

(30) 7 oz.

(40) 9.1 oz.

Okuma intends the Helios SX as a direct competitor for Penn’s Battle III and Daiwa’s BG, offering this excellent reel at approximately the same price point. In my view, this isn’t entirely accomplished, and for the money, I think you get a better reel from Penn or Daiwa.

Okuma equips the Helis SX with a carbon-fiber body, vastly reducing its weight in comparison with all-metal alternatives. But as savvy anglers will already know, that comes with a compromise, namely, lessened rigidity. And without rock-solid torsion resistance, gears can slip or get mismatched in a hard fight.

To combat this, Okuma uses what they call “Torsion Control Armor,” essentially just aluminum reinforcement by doubling up the frame to increase stiffness. This works pretty well, and the result is a lightweight but very stable body.

Aluminum main gears are a staple of Okuma production, and that’s as true for the Helios SX as it is for their more budget-minded reels. This further reduces weight and feels pretty smooth when you crank it. And given the sizes this reel is offered in, aluminum is more than tough enough as a gear material.

Okuma doesn’t attempt to seal the innards of this reel from saltwater intrusion, relying on corrosion-resistant materials like aluminum and stainless steel, as well as a rotor designed to shed water. The idea is that a quick rinse in freshwater will get the guts of the Helios SX clean, and that drying times will be greatly reduced by the design.

The Helios SX’s gear ratios are size-appropriate, and this reel is available in a fourth model designated by an “S” that ramps up the ratio to produce a faster retrieve.

If you’ve read our reviews above, you'll know that Okuma reels tend to be sluggish, and the Helios SX is no exception. Outrun by both the Battle III and the BG, even the S can’t compete with their appetite for line. For instance, the 40 S retrieves 35.9 inches of line per crank, while the 4000-size BG eats 39.9 and the 4000 Battle III gobbles 37 in its standard variant and a full 43 inches when you step up to the HS model.

That’s a big difference, and I’d like to see Okuma either increase its gear ratios substantially and/or run a larger spool, allowing it to catch its rivals at this price.

Capacity is lackluster, as well, and the Helios SX evidently wears a pretty small spool. Even the relatively scrawny Daiwa BG (4000) holds 280 yards of 30 pound braid, while the Okuma manages just 215 yards of the same test braid.

Add to these deficiencies that the drag maximums are lower than the BG or Battle III’s, nor are the discs made from lubricated carbon fiber, and the Daiwa and Penn pull away even more.

So why add the Helios SX to our shortlist?

As of the moment, this reel is on sale for an unbelievable steal, and at its sale price, it’s a true bargain. At full price, I’d give this reel a pass, but at roughly half of the price of the BG or Battle III, this lightweight design starts to make a lot of sense!

Pros:

  • Excellent value while on sale!
  • Good carbon body with aluminum reinforcement for added rigidity
  • Good gear materials
  • Good gear ratios
  • Good drag system
  • Extremely light!
  •  

Cons:

  • Drag durability and performance can’t compete with carbon-fiber disc systems
  • Slow retrieval speeds
  • Small spools

Okuma Cedros - Okuma’s Best Heavy Inshore Spinning Reel

OKUMA Reels Cedros Spinning 6Bb + 1Rb 5.4:1, Multi, One Size

Amazon 

Sizes: 4000, 6000, 8000, 10000, and 14000

Maximum drag: (4000) 33 lbs.

(6000) 33 lbs.

(8000) 44 lbs.

(10000) 44 lbs.

(14000) 44 lbs.

Line capacity:braid (4000) 230/30, 190/40

(6000) 320/40, 270/50

(8000) 500/40, 425/50

(10000) 500/50, 330/65

(14000) 410/65, 370/85

 

Bearings: 6 + 1

Gear ratio: (4000) 5.8:1 35.4 IPT

(6000) 5.8:1 39.8 IPT

(8000) 5.4:1 40.9 IPT

(10000) 5.4:1 44.1 IPT

(14000) 5.4:1 45.8 IPT

 

Weight:(4000) 13.4 oz.

(6000) 14.27 oz.

(8000) 22 oz.

(10000) 22.7 oz.

(14000) 22.8 oz.

Okuma offers the Cedros as a direct rival for the larger sizes of the Daiwa BG and the Penn Battle III. But unlike the Helios SX, I think that Okuma has cracked the code on these larger reels, offering a vastly more competitive option for heavier-duty fishing.

Gone are the carbon-fiber bodies of the Cedros’s smaller cousins. Here, Okuma uses a magnesium/aluminum alloy that’s strong, durable, and stiff as a warm shot of whisky. This all-metal body holds the gears right where they should be, resisting the torsion that bedevils carbon fiber.

As far as I can tell, an aluminum main gear meshes with a brass pinion gear to translate your cranking power to the spool. Admirably smooth, it’s a more-or-less match for the Penn, though perhaps not quite as slick as the Daiwa.

The available gear ratios are good, and in conjunction with the spool, they deliver acceptable speeds, roughly matching the Battle III and BG. For instance, the 6000-size Cedros picks up 39.8 inches of line per turn, while the same size Battle III manages 41 inches unless you step up to the HS, which delivers a blazing 47 inches per turn.

That’s plenty of speed for me, and I wouldn’t feel outgunned fishing the Cedros for big fish.

Okuma still hasn’t managed to match the Cedros’s spool capacity to its competitors, and that’s something to keep in mind. The Battle III in 8000 holds 475 yards of 50-pound braid; the Okuma manages just 425 yards of the same test. 

For larger species that might require substantial line as they run, I’d be more comfortable with the Penn. That said, the Okuma will probably get the job done.

Okuma has also upgraded the drag, matching or exceeding the maximums of Penn and Daiwa. They’ve switched to a carbon-fiber disc system in the Cedros, leaving the oiled-felt for lesser reels in their lineup.

The result is a harder fighting reel that can tame big fish, hold its gears stock still, and keep up with fast species like barracuda.

As an added bonus, Okuma has the Cedros cut weight like a prize fighter: size for size, it’s much lighter than the BG or Battle III. Over the course of a long day of fishing, that’s a difference you’ll really feel!

I’m not sure I’d prefer the Cedros over the Battle III or BG, but it’s certainly a worthy alternative. 

Pros:

  • All-metal body provides excellent rigidity
  • Excellent gears
  • Excellent gear ratios
  • Very good drag system
  • Extremely light!
  •  

Cons:

  • Lower capacity than the Daiwa BG or Penn Battle III

Okuma Makaira - Okuma’s Best Offshore Spinning Reel

Tackle Direct

Sizes: 10000, 20000, and 30000

Maximum drag: (10000) 55 lbs.

(20000) 66 lbs.

(30000) 66 lbs.

Line capacity:braid (10000) 415/50, 290/65

(20000) 490/65, 400/80

(30000) 700/80, 570/100

Bearings: 9 + 1 

Gear ratio: (10000) 4.9:1 40 IPT

(20000) 5.8:1 51.6 IPT

(30000) 5.8:1 65.7 IPT

Weight:(10000) 28.2 oz.

(20000) 35 oz.

(30000) 39 oz.

Okuma’s Makaira is a no-holds-barred extension of the company’s success with lever-drag conventional reels, taking much of their experience with offshore reel design into the spinning world. These massive, powerful reels are intended to offer greater sizes than the Penn Authority, enabling anglers to chase massive pelagic species with spinning tackle.

The Makaira is offered with a machined aluminum body and side plate, providing massive strength and undeniable rigidity. Indeed, the only carbon fiber you’ll find in this reel is in the drag system, but more on that later.

The body resists torsion admirably, holding the gears in place and providing an unyielding foundation in hard fights.

Okuma uses stainless steel for the main and pinion gears in the Makaira, choosing 17-4 stainless for this application. This is a durable, corrosion-resistant alloy that can really take a beating, and it’s used in industries like firearm manufacture for just this reason.

The precision-cut teeth of the Makaira mate well, producing a very smooth crank.

The 10000-size sports a 4.9:1 gear ratio, picking up 40 inches of line per turn. Penn’s Authority, in 10500, grabs 43 inches with the same effort, but as you step up to the 20000 and 30000, Penn just has nothing in its spinning lineup to compete.

The 5.8:1 gear ratio of these monsters drives a massive spool that gobbles 51.6 and 65.7 inches of line per turn, respectively. That’s blazing speed by any metric, and there’s nothing swimming in the salt that can outrun that retrieval rate!

As you’d expect though, even this astronomically expensive Okuma can’t match Penn’s line capacity. The 10000-size Makaira holds 415 yards of 50-pound braid by contrast, the 10500 Authority packs on an amazing 845 yards of the same strength braid.

But select a larger size Makaria, and nothing keeps up. Massive amounts of line can be accommodated by these enormous spools, and you’ll only find yourself staring at a knot on your spool if you hook a pier on the way out.

Okuma employs a carbon-fiber drag system, lubricated by Cal’s drag grease. It’s both slick and reliable, using a lever-drag system borrowed from conventional reels. Drag maximums are excellent, and rest assured, you can use braid that holds like steel wire with these systems.

This expensive Okuma spinning reel will appeal to anglers who want to tackle shark, grouper, tuna, and other pelagic species with spinning tackle, and in its larger sizes, I don’t think there’s anything that matches it.

Pros:

  • All-metal body provides excellent rigidity
  • Excellent gears
  • Excellent gear ratios
  • Excellent drag system
  • Excellent capacity in larger sizes
  •  

Cons:

  • The 10000 can’t compete directly with the Penn Authority
  • Very expensive!

Buying Guide: Why We Selected These Okuma Reels

Value

Right off the bat, I’ll stipulate that I don’t see Okuma as a true rival for Penn, Daiwa, or Shimano - especially at the high end. Okuma is making huge strides of late, dramatically improving their spinning designs, but at similar price-points, I think it’s fair to say that they get blown away by the big three.

Nevertheless, Okuma’s commitment to affordable performance makes reels like the Ceymar and Avenger real bargains, and for budget-conscious anglers, there’s a true need for these tackle options.

Check out the best fishing reels reviewed!

Body

To save weight and cost, Okuma leans pretty heavily on carbon fiber bodies. 

On the plus side, that cuts weight to almost nothing. But as you step up to larger sizes of reel, and bigger, harder fighting fish, carbon fiber just can’t ofer the torsion resistance necessary to hold a reel’s gears firmly in place.

Fortunately, Okuma knows this, and the Cedros and Makaira come with machined aluminum bodies and side plates that are extremely capable.

Gearing

Okuma uses similar materials at most price-points, relying on aluminum and stainless alloys to get the job done. 

There’s nothing wrong with that, but you’ll never match the smoothness made possible with brass gearing. That said, Penn and Daiwa use plenty of aluminum and stainless steel, too, so I don’t feel that Okuma is at a disadvantage on this front.

Where a problem comes in, however, is gear ratios.

Speed

Ounce for ounce and size for size, Okuma’s best spinning reels are typically quite slow. Moderate to low gear ratios are paired with relatively small spools, and the inevitable result is sluggish retrieval speed.

Until you step up to the massive Makairas, an Okuma reel just won’t keep up with Shimano, Penn, or Daiwa.

That can matter when a fish makes a run straight at you, as any slack represents an opportunity for your hook to come loose or be thrown.

Realistically, however, the reels we’ve reviewed today aren’t going to let you down in a fight. Be careful, know the limits of your tackle, and you should be fine.

Capacity

Okuma tends to supply its reels with smaller spools than the big three, and even Daiwa’s reels tend to hold more line.

This matters in two situations.

First, if you're fighting big pelagic species, you need plenty of capacity to tame them as they run. And getting to the bottom of your spool is a heart-stopping end to what might be a personal best.

Second, on smaller reels, you’ll often need to cut and retie to ensure you’re fishing with fresh, undamaged line. The more you can pack on your spool, the longer you can stay in the fight without stopping to respool from scratch.

Drag

Okuma relies heavily on oiled-felt drag systems. 

Inexpensive, these cost savings translate directly into lower prices at the cash register, but this old tech just can’t compete with carbon fiber systems like the HT-100 and ATD.

Okuma is well aware of this, which is why its larger (and more expensive) reels use carbon fiber systems.

The drag maximums and overall performance on these Okuma reels is typically good, but you’ll notice a big increase in performance if you compare them directly to a similar Shimano, Penn, or Daiwa.

Final Thoughts

Okuma’s budget-minded reels are a real bargain, and I’m a big fan.

In fact, I own and fish an Okuma Raw II (a model that’s no longer produced), and I’m delighted with its performance.

And with that said, I’d spend my money on a Ceymar, Avenger, or Helios (on sale) without a second thought, as these reels offer lots of bang for your buck.

But Okuma is definitely not a Big Three company, and dollar for dollar, they just can’t match the performance of Daiwa, Shimano, or Penn. As a result, I would think very hard about whether the more expensive reels on this shortlist are right for you, especially if you have other options.

I hope that this article has helped you make the best choice for your budget and needs, and we’d love to hear any questions or comments you might have.

Please leave a comment below!

About The Author
Pete Danylewycz
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. Whether he's casting a line in a quiet freshwater stream or battling a monster bass, fishing is his true passion.